Did you know that most women will develop fibroids, cysts, or both, at some point during their lifetimes? A majority of women with regular periods will produce at least one ovarian cyst each month, and uterine fibroids can be found in up to 70% of women.
Many of these growths are asymptomatic and don’t cause problems on a regular basis. However, when symptoms do occur, they are often painful enough to affect a woman’s ability to function and subsequently disruptive to her everyday life.
If you think you may be suffering from symptomatic fibroids or cysts, especially if you’re trying to conceive, acupuncture may be the solution you’re searching for.
What are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids, sometimes called fibromas or myomas among other things, are benign tumors or muscle growths that form on the uterus. They’re often asymptomatic and rarely cancerous.
When uterine fibroids do present with symptoms, they include the following:
- Heavy or painful periods
- Heavy uterine bleeding
- Abdominal, pelvic, or lower back cramping and pain
- Frequent and/or difficult urination
- Pain during intercourse
- Infertility or recurring miscarriages
Detection and Typical Treatment
Fibroids are usually detected during routine pelvic exams. They can be further investigated with imaging techniques such as ultrasound or hysteroscopy. Symptoms are typically treated with over-the-counter pain medications and oral contraceptives, to reduce pain and control prolonged and excessive blood flow.
The tumors themselves can be treated with ultrasound therapy—essentially targeted radiation, uterine artery embolization (UAE) via catheter, in which the blood vessels feeding the fibroids are blocked, or in severe cases a myomectomy to remove the fibroids or hysterectomy to remove the uterus may be necessary.
What are Ovarian Cysts?
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs or cavities that develop on one or both ovaries during ovulation. Typically, they are a result of the failure of one of the egg-releasing follicles to open. Just like fibroids, cysts are rarely malignant and often cause no symptoms, unless there are many small cysts on the ovaries—a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS can cause irregular periods and is often the main cause of infertility.
When ovarian cysts are abnormally large, in multiples as in PCOS, rupture, or cause the ovary to twist, they do produce symptoms which include:
- Bloating and abdominal pressure
- Pelvic pain
- Sudden, sharp, and intense pain if ruptured
- Bowel and bladder problems (constipation, frequent urination)
Detection and Typical Treatment
Once again similar to uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts are usually identified during routine gynecological exams and can be examined further using imaging techniques. Cysts can also be examined, or even removed, via laparoscopic surgery.
Most cysts resolve on their own over time and are generally just monitored for growth. Pain and cramping associated with symptoms can be treated with OTC medications, or are sometimes prevented with hormonal birth control. If they continue to develop or problems persist, they can be removed surgically with a cystectomy, or—in severe cases—one or both ovaries can be removed in an oophorectomy.
How can acupuncture help?
Acupuncture is a proven alternative treatment not only in relieving the pain and symptoms associated with fibroids and cysts, but also in reducing their size. For women who are trying to conceive and do not wish to use birth control, or who simply don’t want to rely on daily medication to function, acupuncture offers an extremely effective and natural solution.
By selecting specific points on the body, acupuncture addresses cysts and fibroids by:
- Balancing hormones
- Regulating menstrual cycles
- Reducing inflammation
- Relieving pain
- Shrinking masses
- Promoting proper blood flow
Acupuncture is very effective in treating infertility when related to fibroids or PCOS, and a natural alternative to conventional western treatment options.
Other treatment methods we offer that have been shown to effectively reduce the symptoms of fibroids and cysts include electro-stimulation acupuncture, Moxa therapy, and prescribed herbal formulas.
If you’re looking for a natural solution to fibroids or cysts, WellStream Acupuncture may have exactly what you need. Give us a call today at 323-463-9355 or email us to schedule an appointment so you can start feeling like yourself again!